Without a doubt, the most delicious scallops ever in my eating history! Enjoyed in a waterfront Martha’s Vineyard cottage surrounded by terrific family this meal was the ultimate seafood dining experience.

These fat white scallops caught off the New England coast were smooth, flavorful, heavenly in every sense. No description, no combination of superlatives does them justice. Thanks Tim Mabee, Linda and their whole family for producing such a wonderful eating experience.

Tim Mabee’s Martha’s Vineyard Scallops
Based on Julia Child’s Coquilles St. Jacques
Printed from A Chef’s Table with Jim Coleman, WHYY, 2008

Tim began by cooking yellow onions slowly in 1 T butter and a small amount of olive oil in a pan for 5 minutes until translucent. Then he added shallots and garlic and cooked slowly for another minute. He then let these simmer a bit in vegetable broth before setting aside.


Here’s the basic recipe and then more on the preparation.

1 ½ pounds sea scallops washed and dried
1 ¼ cup yellow onions, finely chopped
1 Tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, minced
Vegetable broth. Tim used homemade.
Flour for dredging scallops
White wine
Bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Grated Parmesan Cheese or other cheese of your choosing

After cooking the onion, shallots and herbs as described above, he dredged the scallops in a thin coating of flour and browned lightly in a hot oil and butter.


He added the onions and broth (plus wine if you wish) to the pot before the scallops were too thoroughly cooked and kept them warm in the hot flavorful liquid for a few more minutes. Here he also corrected seasoning and discarded bay leaf before serving.


Tim served aromatic rice cooked with bouquet garni to accompany his scallops. His herbs were tied in a small cheesecloth bag.


His finished product, served in small glass soup dishes presented the lovely scallops beautifully. He placed several scallops in each dish and spooned the aromatic sauce into the dishes. He sprinkled each dish with cheese and dotted with small pieces of butter. He put them under a moderately hot broiler just long enough to heat through and brown the cheese slightly.



The meal was enhanced by a deliciously dressed salad of locally grown greens with carrots and walnuts. Tim whisks up the most wonderful vinaigrettes. This one featured lemony flavors. Homemade bread was available to soak up the herby fresh liquids. Sweet, mild flavors, textures, and herbalicious smells came together in a perfect union. The meal was indeed very special.

Note: As always Tim and others are invited to comment. Hopefully Tim will set me straight where I have misremembered preparation. All tips and info are welcome.


  1. tim mabee

    Susie, you asked how much wine for the broth. I used about a cup of sauvignon blanc. The real answer though is this: You don’t need to measure to make this dish Alllow 5 ounces of scallops per person. Adjust everything else to your taste.

  2. Susan

    My very, very favorite meal. Mom always made for my birthday dinner! I try to use Julia Child’s recipe but these look and sound fantastic! Will give this a “go” soon!

  3. Nancy Skadden

    Oh, Paulette! The meal sounds exceptional. With the photos of my wonderful Vineyard, I was completely there with you in spirit. Thanks.


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